Possible shipwreck found could delay major construction project

Possible shipwreck found could delay major construction project

A large metal object was found six metres beneath the seabed near the old Wan Chai Ferry Pier, which the Civil Engineering & Development Department today said could be part of a shipwreck.

The contractor found the metal object measuring 40m in length, 20m in width and 2m in height while clearing the seabed for the Wan Chai Development Phase II reclamation and the Central-Wan Chai Bypass tunnel works.

Dr Greg Wong Chak-yan, a former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, said that if the find was just considered waste metal, it might take a few months to dismantle and cut into pieces for removal. But if it is confirmed as having historical value that should be preserved, it could take years for experts to study and salvage the vessel.

The department said more details and the impact on related works are subject to further investigation and assessment.  It may prompt an investigation which would delay the project. The Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link has an estimated total cost of HK$36 billion.

Works on the bypass started in 2009 and it is scheduled for completion in 2017

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